Walt Whitman poetry

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
speaker even as a boy, can hear and understand the bird’s song; his responsibility to translate it

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
refers to the bird as brother
–> oversoul, being a brother to all living things

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
memory; happened to him as a child

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
birth of him as a writer

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
songs = his poems

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
experience that inspires him to be a poet
knows what he want to write about in his poems

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
hears the word of the sea and the bird and understands it; feels the responsibility to translate it

Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking
the boy comes to know about Death

One’s-Self I Sing
En-masse — in the whole

One’s-Self I Sing
equality, unity of opposite ends of the spectrum

Song of Myself
autobiography

Song of Myself
oversoul, everyone is connected

Song of Myself
A spear of summer grass — detail

Song of Myself
speaks for America

Song of Myself
writing about everything in an original way

Song of Myself
no certainty about what the grass is; has the same knowledge as a child

Song of Myself
inclusive — Canadian (Kanuck), Virginian (Tuckahoe), Congressman, black man (Cuff)

Song of Myself
the grass is part of the living and the dead

Song of Myself
refers to his poetry as the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands

Song of Myself
Earth is his lover

Song of Myself
lists elements of nature that are insignificant but because of this are miracles

Song of Myself
lists elements of nature that are hard to access and he pursues the seemingly hard to access elements

Song of Myself
acknowledges that his poetry is wordy

Song of Myself
makes a connection to himself and the hawk

Song of Myself
arrogance; his poetry will be good for us

Song of Myself
recognizes that some of his poetry is difficult

Song of Myself
desires to make a connection with his readers; has a need/obsession of connection

Song of Myself
gives different insight of who Whitman is

I Hear America Singing
celebrates labor, our capacity to do physical things

I Hear America Singing
inclusive — lists different middle class laborers (occupations)

I Hear America Singing
America is very diverse, part of what makes America great

I Hear America Singing
everyone comes together, blend well together

A Noiseless Patient Spider
image: spider making a web, trying to connect two things

A Noiseless Patient Spider
metaphor: compares himself to the spider

A Noiseless Patient Spider
comparing his poetry to a single delicate thread

A Noiseless Patient Spider
everything is connected; connecting by using his words/poetry

I Sing the Body Electric
use of repetition; very controversial for time

I Sing the Body Electric
equates the body and soul, physical and spiritual

I Sing the Body Electric
stanza 2: celebrates physical movements

I Sing the Body Electric
inclusive — catalog of people who are physically active; opposites

I Sing the Body Electric
Whitman gets pleasure from taking part in the physical activity

I Sing the Body Electric
stanza 3: focuses on individual

I Sing the Body Electric
Whitman’s desire to make connection, be with peole

I Sing the Body Electric
daughters loved him not because they had to; he was the man’s man

I Sing the Body Electric
stanza 4: celebrates connection with others; need for community

I Sing the Body Electric
stanza 5: female body; positively describes, raising women’s place to be equal to the male

I Sing the Body Electric
refers to the female as a goddess, gives an angelic description, godly

I Sing the Body Electric
very sexually suggestive

I Sing the Body Electric
a man becomes a man when he has a woman

I Sing the Body Electric
women birth children and figuratively birth men

I Sing the Body Electric
women are gates of the body and soul

I Sing the Body Electric
stanza 6: male body; not as descriptive as female body

I Sing the Body Electric
asks the male- do you think you are better/more important?

I Sing the Body Electric
everything in the world revolves around the man

I Sing the Body Electric
stanza 7: male slave at auction

I Sing the Body Electric
stanza 8: female slave at auction

I Sing the Body Electric
stanza 9: celebration of his own body

I Sing the Body Electric
extremely inclusive — lists every part of the body (male and female)

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer
loves nature instead of learning; would rather experience nature instead of learning about nature

Beat! Beat! Drums!
repetition; rhythm

Beat! Beat! Drums!
call to arms poem — war is not going to be easily won, requires sacrifice from everyone; everything gets put on hold for the war effort

Beat! Beat! Drums!
Whitman wants to preserve the union

Beat! Beat! Drums!
sense of urgency; communicating to the drums and bugles the urgency

Cavalry Crossing a Ford
collection of word pictures; visual imagery and auditory imagery

Cavalry Crossing a Ford
describes soldiers that fight on horseback crossing a spot in a creek/lake that is shallow enough to walk across

A March in the Ranks, Hard-prest
imagery: visual imagery, auditory imagery, olfactory imagery, tactile imagery

A March in the Ranks, Hard-prest
metaphor: mystery of life, don’t know what the future holds

A March in the Ranks, Hard-prest
Whitman’s experience of being a field nurse in the war; takes one last look because he doesn’t want to forget what he saw

O Captain! My Captain!
most famous memorial of Abraham Lincoln

O Captain! My Captain!
extended metaphor: compares Lincoln to a captain of a ship; ship – status of country; captain – successful resolution of war, preserved the union; captain has guided the ship to safety, but didn’t survive

O Captain! My Captain!
wrote it because of:
– love/admiration for Lincoln
– wanted poem to be popularly received; writes in a different way, not in free verse, has a rhyme scheme, patter, structure

O Captain! My Captain!
My Captain = My Father = Lincoln
– sees Lincoln as the father of the country during this time

Reconciliation
reconciliation = come to terms with; topic of the poem

Reconciliation
beautiful is that war and all its deed of carnage (killing of many people)

Reconciliation
personifies Death and Night
– they wash the world of the blood from the war

Reconciliation
ascribing value to another person
– enemy
– of equal value
act of respect towards enemy

Reconciliation
Man = veteran/casualty
– Southerner vs. Northerner — literal
– North speaking of South — figurative